Only on 7: Ann Willis opens up about surviving brutal attack in Travelers Rest home

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TRAVELERS REST, SC (WSPA) – For the first time, we are hearing the horrific details of what happened the morning a Travelers Rest woman was brutally attacked and shot inside of her home.

Ann Willis’ husband, Warren Willis, was reportedly kidnapped from their convenience store, was beaten and then robbed.

Willis, who was tied up, beaten and shot in the couple’s home, told us she died in the hospital after the attack, but her medical team was able to revive her.

Now, nearly six months later, Willis is sharing her story.

“I was absolutely scared to death,” she said. “I have never been that afraid in my life.”

Yanked by her hair and dragged out of her bed, Willis said she opened her eyes to see the worst day of her life unfold.

“He was dressed in black or camouflage, and had a mask on. And it was horrifying,” she said.

Willis recounts several men standing in her room glaring at her.

“He started out and said, ‘This is real. This is not a game.’ And then he was waving the gun and says, ‘we may shoot you.’ We may rape you,'” she said.

“He told me, he says, ‘I’ve got your husband,’ or ‘we’ve got your husband,'” Willis said. “And what went through my head at that time was, ‘Oh my soul. Who in the world is going to save me?'”

Little did Willis know at the time that Warren had reportedly been ambushed as he left their grocery, W.E. Willis store, located in Landrum, earlier that morning.

Beaten and bound with zip ties, he was then taken to their Travelers Rest home.

“They had my husband out there in the garage who was covered in blood, and blood running out of his eyes,” she said.

Willis said she now realizes that she was caught in the middle of an armed robbery.

“It just went through my head, ‘give them what you’ve got,'” she said. “I didn’t know at that time (that) they thought they were going to find millions and millions of dollars in the house.”

She said she handed over tens of thousands of dollars, but that wasn’t enough.

What happened next Willis said she can’t remember, but said she later learned that she was stabbed and shot in a spare bedroom of her home.

At the hospital in surgery, she died.

“They did not expect me to live and when I was able to know what was going on, one of the surgeons told me that I had died three times,” Willis said. 

After spending four months in the hospital, and two months at home, she said she still can’t walk and is undergoing therapy to regain her strength.

But Willis said her spirit is stronger than her body, and is giving endless gratitude to those who reached out to God so she could live.

Willis also said she later learned that the men accused in this case reportedly watched she and her husband for year, and even put tracking devices on their vehicles.

“If it hadn’t been for all the power of prayer, I probably would not be alive,” she said.

Eight people were later arrested for their role in this crime, including:

  • Jack Corris Foreman IV 
  • Da’Juan Rayshard Young
  • Mark Alan Wright
  • Jack Foreman
  • Jermaine Bernard Williams
  • Jeffery Kevin Mullins, Jr.
  • Kenyatta Foster
  • Ronald Edmond

Three of the eight people arrested in this case — Jermaine Williams, Jack Corris Foreman IV and Jack Foreman — are scheduled to have a bond hearing on Friday.

Previous stories:

Store owner attacked, kidnapped; wife shot in Greenville Co.

911 calls from attacks on local couple released

Report sheds light on activity at convenience store before brutal attack

Family speaks out after final arrests made in W.E. Willis grocery kidnapping, shooting
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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